The 8 Best Toddler Pillows of 2021

Just the right size to help your tot get a good night’s sleep

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Once your baby enters toddlerhood, you finally get to start tucking them into bed with blankets, stuffed animals, and their very own pillow. What many parents and caregivers don't realize is that once their toddler transitions to a toddler bed, they actually don't need the same full-size pillows that adults use. Instead, they need a toddler size pillow that’s designed with the right proportions for their bed and their body.

So, if you’re in the market for new bedding for your tot, here are some of the best pillows to consider. 

Good to Know

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends holding off on introducing pillows to your toddler's bed until they are at least 18 months old. This coincides with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation of keeping babies under 12 months old in a crib free of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and other soft objects due to the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). After their first birthday, however, you’re free to add some “comfort items” to their sleeping space, and this can include a pillow. Toddler size pillows are great for toddler beds, but you will want to consider a standard size pillow when your child moves up to a larger bed.

Our Top Picks
Ergonomically designed for kids as young as 2 years old, it can be adjusted to fit your child as they grow.
Keep your toddler cool throughout the night with this pillow and pillowcase, both made from 100% cotton.
This dual-purpose pillow can be used as a supportive cushion for parents and then as a down-alternative pillow for tots later on.
For the hot sleepers, this pillow features a moisture-wicking cover that keeps air moving so your kiddo won't overheat.
Affordable without skimping on warmth, it features a cotton allergen barrier casing, making it a great pick for sensitive skin.
This visco-elastic memory foam pillow was made just for toddlers and is ideal for proper head and neck support.
Perfect for tummy sleepers, it helps keep the neck and spine better aligned with its balanced filling.
Recommended for toddlers as young as 18 months, the cover is made of organic cotton and eucalyptus.

Best Overall: Coop Home Goods Hypoallergenic Toddler Pillow

Pros
  • Hypoallergenic

  • Machine washable

Cons
  • Pillowcase not included

This hypoallergenic memory foam pillow measures 14 inches x 19 inches and is ergonomically designed for kids as young as 2 years old. What makes this pillow unique is that it can be adjusted to fit your child as they grow because it gives you access to the memory foam filling so you can add or remove as much as you need. Also, the pillow is designed to regulate temperature so your child doesn’t overheat, it is free of harmful chemicals, and is machine washable. 

Age Recommendation: 2 years old and up | Dimensions: 19 x 13 inches | Filling Type: Memory foam

Best Cotton: KeaBabies Toddler Pillow with Pillowcase

Pros
  • Pillowcase included

  • Made with organic cotton

Cons
  • Might be too fluffy for young toddlers

Available in several different adorable patterns, this 13 inches x 18 inches toddler pillow is ergonomically designed for kiddos between 2 and 5 years old. Both the pillow and its pillowcase are made from 100 percent cotton and are safe for the washing machine. The super-soft material is designed to help your toddler stay cool throughout the night. 

Age Recommendation: 2 years old to 5 years old | Dimensions: 13 x 18 inches | Filling Type: Cotton

Best Hypoallergenic: Parachute Toddler Pillow

Parachute Toddler Pillow
Pros
  • Machine washable

  • Hypoallergenic

Cons
  • Costly

According to the brand, this dual-purpose pillow can be used as a support cushion on your nursery glider during your sweetie's first year of life. Once they hit 18 months old, this 12 inches x 18 inches down-alternative pillow can safely be used as a standard pillow for your toddler. The machine-washable pillow is filled with 100 percent hypoallergenic fiber filling and is covered with a 100 percent cambric cotton shell, making it safe for even the most sensitive tots. 

Age Recommendation: Not Listed | Dimensions: 12 x 18 inches | Filling Type: Microfiber

Best Cooling: Avocado Organic Toddler Pillow

Avocado Organic Toddler Pillow
Pros
  • Made with non-toxic materials

  • Can double as knee or travel pillow for adults

Cons
  • Not recommended for children under 2 years old

  • Not machine washable

For the hot sleepers, this pillow has a cover made from 100 percent GOTS organic certified cotton that wicks away moisture and helps keep air moving so your kiddo doesn’t overheat. The pillow measures 20 inches x 12 inches and is filled with 100 percent GOLS organic certified latex and 100 percent GOTS organic certified kapok fiber. One important note: this pillow is spot clean only, so you’ll want to invest in a good pillowcase. 

Age Recommendation: 2 years old and up | Dimensions: 20 x 12 inches | Filling Type: Latex shreds and Kapok fiber

Best Budget: Pottery Barn Kids Quallowarm Hypoallergenic Toddler Pillow Inserts

Quallowarm Hypoallergenic Toddler Pillow Inserts
Pros
  • Hypoallergenic

  • 230 thread count

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Not dry clean-friendly

  • No pillowcase included

You’ll have no trouble getting your toddler to stay in their bed all night with this soft and fluffy machine washable pillow. It measures 20 inches x 16 inches with polyester filling and 100 percent cotton allergen barrier casing, making it hypoallergenic and great for sensitive kids. The 230 thread-count pillow is made to have a medium-density to suit different types of sleepers and the down-alternative filling is designed to increase airflow for comfort and warmth. 

Age Recommendation: Not Listed | Dimensions: 20 x 16 inches | Filling Type: Polyester

Best Foam: Kittrich Corporation My First Memory Foam Toddler Pillow

Kittrich Corporation My First Memory Foam Toddler Pillow
Pros
  • Waterproof cover/pillowcase

  • High-density foam

Cons
  • Not recommended for children under 2 years old

Toddlers can rest their tired heads on this 100 percent visco-elastic memory foam pillow made just for them. It measures 16 inches x 12 inches, making it the perfect size for home and travel toddler beds, and it comes with a machine washable waterproof cover and pillowcase. Toddlers between 2 and 5 years old with allergies can safely use this hypoallergenic pillow, it’s also made with high-density foam to make it extra firm for proper head and neck support. 

Age Recommendation: 2 years old to 5 years old | Dimensions: 16 x 12 inches | Filling Type: Visco elastic

Best for Tummy Sleepers: TILLYOU Ergonomic Toddler Bed Crib Pillow

Pros
  • 300 thread count

  • Gentle for sensitive skin types

Cons
  • Spot cleaning only for best cleaning results

This pillow measures 13 inches x 18 inches and was designed specifically for toddler mattresses as well as for traveling. The 300 thread-count pillow is made from 100 percent cotton and has just enough filling for it to land somewhere between flat and fluffy which is perfect for tummy sleepers because it helps keep the neck and spine better aligned. With this machine-washable pillow, you’ll also get a super soft pillowcase with an envelope closure to give your kiddo a little extra comfort. 

Age Recommendation: Not Listed | Dimensions: 13 x 18 inches | Filling Type: Polyester

Best Organic: Nook Sleep Systems Junior Pebble Pillow

Nook Junior Pebble Pillow
Pros
  • Stain/liquid-resistance surface

  • Machine washable

Cons
  • Heavier than most toddler pillows

  • Expensive

Made with allergy and asthma-friendly fabrics and materials, this 12 inches x 20 inches pillow is both comfortable and clean. The cover is made from organic cotton, organic eucalyptus, and a non-toxic poly blend and it’s filled with organic kapok. The cover is available in several colors and can be unzipped and removed to toss into the washing machine, but the interior needs to be spot cleaned. Nook recommends this pillow for toddlers as young as 18 months old. 

Age Recommendation: Not Listed | Dimensions: 14 x 20 inches | Filling Type: Fiber

Final Verdict

Any of the pillows on this list will help your little one get some quality rest, but our favorites are the Coop Home Goods Toddler Pillow for its versatility and the Parachute Toddler Pillow for its hypoallergenic design. 

What to Look for in a Toddler Pillow

Material

Whether it’s your toddler’s first pillow or fourth, you want to keep in mind the material of the pillow they use. Just like adult pillows, toddler pillows are all made differently, some with common ingredients and others designed for those with sensitive skin. 

If your child has sensitive skin or allergies, consider a toddler pillow that’s hypoallergenic as it will be less likely to cause any type of allergic reaction. You also want the pillow to be comfortable for your child, so let them have an input on the pillow, too. Don’t forget about maintenance either as some pillows are not machine washable. 

Size

What many parents and caregivers don’t realize is that a toddler pillow is smaller than an adult pillow. This is what’s safest for your child to sleep with, especially if they’re on the younger side. 

You will find that the average size of a toddler pillow is about 13 x 18 inches, and should not be too soft. The size of the pillow won’t overwhelm their small head and a pillow that’s too soft or does not keep its shape poses a suffocation risk.

Readiness 

Knowing when your toddler is ready for a pillow of their own can be tricky. If your toddler is still in their crib, they should not have a pillow at all. All cribs should be empty of bedding-type pieces, like blankets and pillows, or until children are moved to a toddler bed.

Once a child makes it to a toddler bed, a toddler-sized pillow can typically be introduced. Double check the bed’s manual to ensure the correct recommendation. A child does not necessarily need a pillow as they are merely there for comfort, so have your toddler help decide. 

FAQs

When can my toddler start using a pillow? 

Once your child is in a toddler bed, a toddler-sized pillow can be used. You will want to ensure the manual states a toddler-sized pillow is allowed first, but this is a general recommendation many parents and caregivers follow. You don’t want to introduce a pillow too early as they can pose a suffocation risk to younger children, especially if your child is still in a crib.

When can a toddler transition from a small pillow to an adult pillow?

This is going to depend on your child’s age and their growth. The reason a toddler pillow is made smaller than an adult pillow is because if it’s too big, it poses a suffocation risk. Many toddler pillow brands will give an age recommendation for their pillows, with some lasting until a child is 8 years old. Ask your child for their input once they’re out of the toddler years (age 4).

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce content for a variety of platforms. She’s a mom to 1-year-old and 4-year-old daughters and an aunt to 3 nieces and 2 nephews ranging from 5 to 11 years old. In addition to regularly scouring the internet to find the best things for herself, Ashley spends multiple hours a week researching, comparing, and writing about products specifically for kids and families.

 

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  1. Best toddler pillows of 2021. Sleep Foundation.